Looking to buy digital piano for $1000 or less

Posted by: TheNovicest

Looking to buy digital piano for $1000 or less - 10/09/12 06:08 PM

Hey, guys. I'm new to this forum, but I've been lurking around for about the past month and was wondering if you could offer me some advice on the purchase of a digital piano. My budget is $1000 and I am looking for something portable that has the standard 88 weighted keys and such. I tend to like pianos with relatively light touch, but not ones whose keys feel "plasticy."

I would also prefer a digital piano that simulates the powerful reverb and deep, rich sounds of a grand, but I realize that I have to temper my expectations at this price point. One thing that bothers me about many digital piano samples I have heard is that often the mids sound thin and the notes decay quickly. I would like to have a piano that does not suffer too badly from these issues.

Thank you for any advice you may be able to give me on this purchase. You have no idea how much I appreciate it laugh
Posted by: jhm

Re: Looking to buy digital piano for $1000 or less - 10/09/12 06:19 PM

Yamaha P-35

Yamaha P-95

Yamaha P-105
Posted by: gvfarns

Re: Looking to buy digital piano for $1000 or less - 10/09/12 07:13 PM

In addition to the above maybe try some Casios (PX130 or the new PX150).

Have you tried the Yamaha P155 (or CP33) and decided that the touch is too heavy?
Posted by: PianoWorksATL

Re: Looking to buy digital piano for $1000 or less - 10/09/12 08:26 PM

Originally Posted By: jhm
Yamaha P-35

Yamaha P-95

Yamaha P-105
If you like relatively light touch, these are perfect.

IMHO, the new Casio action is superior and firmer but not always more desirable. I wouldn't make a decision without trying the Casio PX-350 and Yamaha P105 first.
Posted by: TheNovicest

Re: Looking to buy digital piano for $1000 or less - 10/09/12 08:37 PM

The P155 and P105 are definitely on my list, but the nearest place I could try them is very far away. I've heard varying opinions on the GH and GHS actions, with some saying GH is too heavy and others saying GHS is too light. Do you have an opinion on which is better?

I usually sway towards a lighter touch, but I do like the P155's better internal speakers and the heavier touch would work if it provided a more realistic experience in terms of being like playing an acoustic piano.

The old Casio PX-_30s sounded kind of thin to me, but I will keep the new Casios in mind. From what I've heard, the speakers on the PX-150 are a bit small-sounding, but the PX-350's tweeters sort of compensate for the problem. I will definitely consider those options as more opinions accumulate smile
Posted by: anotherscott

Re: Looking to buy digital piano for $1000 or less - 10/09/12 09:29 PM

Originally Posted By: TheNovicest
I've heard varying opinions on the GH and GHS actions, with some saying GH is too heavy and others saying GHS is too light. Do you have an opinion on which is better?

As you've noted, there are plenty of people with both of those opinions, so having one more person's opinion won't matter, unless that one person is you. ;-)
Posted by: TheNovicest

Re: Looking to buy digital piano for $1000 or less - 10/09/12 10:50 PM

Haha, I guess you're right and I'm due for a long trip up to Guitar Center.
Posted by: gvfarns

Re: Looking to buy digital piano for $1000 or less - 10/09/12 10:50 PM

Originally Posted By: TheNovicest
I usually sway towards a lighter touch, but I do like the P155's better internal speakers and the heavier touch would work if it provided a more realistic experience in terms of being like playing an acoustic piano.

The old Casio PX-_30s sounded kind of thin to me, but I will keep the new Casios in mind. From what I've heard, the speakers on the PX-150 are a bit small-sounding, but the PX-350's tweeters sort of compensate for the problem. I will definitely consider those options as more opinions accumulate smile


If you want good or even acceptable speakers, you need to look at a different type of piano. I'm aware of no slab-style piano with speakers that are even ok. Well, maybe the CP300, but it's not in your budget.

I'd suggest getting the piano with the action and tone (through headphones) you like and then buying a pair of external speakers to go with it. Even a pair of computer speakers will probably sound better than the speakers on the pianos you are looking at.

Actually, basically all digital pianos have rather poor speakers in my opinion. I always audition them with good headphones. Then I use headphones when I practice. If I must have speakers, I use my own, not the piano's.
Posted by: MacMacMac

Re: Looking to buy digital piano for $1000 or less - 10/10/12 12:12 AM

That's the trouble with "hearing things". You can't trust what you hear.
Originally Posted By: TheNovicest
I've heard varying opinions on the GH and GHS actions, with some saying GH is too heavy and others saying GHS is too light. Do you have an opinion on which is better?
What you'll get from me is different: The GHS is too light AND the GH is too light. I mean it. So how's that for creating confusion?

Here's the point: You are the only one who can judge the action. You have to try out the piano. If you cannot try it, you should not buy it.
Posted by: pv88

Re: Looking to buy digital piano for $1000 or less - 10/10/12 12:27 AM

Originally Posted By: MacMacMac
Here's the point: You are the only one who can judge the action. You have to try out the piano. If you cannot try it, you should not buy it.


+1

Also, I bought a Kawai CA95 "sight unseen" although I already knew in advance that I was going to like both the action and sounds, based upon my having purchased a Kawai EP3, just before it.

What I did is not the usual course of action when buying a piano, as it's always better to try them first, to alleviate any questions or doubts.
Posted by: pv88

Re: Looking to buy digital piano for $1000 or less - 10/10/12 02:48 AM

@TheNovicest,

From your description I think you might like the Kawai EP3, as it has very good pianos sounds, built-in speakers, and excellent reverb effects. The action is smooth and weighted, but not too heavy.

You can get one online for $1,099 as I bought mine, here:

http://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/EP3Kawai/

It is also only 45 pounds, making it portable.
Posted by: Answering

Re: Looking to buy digital piano for $1000 or less - 10/10/12 11:01 AM

I'm going to second what gvfarns mentions above and expound a bit.

You may be able to get a great little slab for 1k that fits your requirements for acceptable action and sound. There are some really nice DPs in that price range. But remember the peripherals. You need a stand, a seat, cables, speakers, headphones. At most you can leave off the cables and speakers and simply use headphones.

One good thing to note is that if you go to an actual piano store, they will likely cut you a deal or at least throw in a relatively cheap x-stand and seat for free or at reduced cost. If you shop online, you get what you see unless you call the online retailer and bargain.
Posted by: TheNovicest

Re: Looking to buy digital piano for $1000 or less - 10/10/12 08:43 PM

Wow guys, thanks for all the feedback. It seems that the consensus is that I should by a DP based on its tone and action, and put some more thought into peripherals instead of worrying about built-in speakers. I will definitely have to head to GC this weekend and audition some DPs in my price range, as well as purchase some quality headphones, a sturdier X-stand, and possibly studio monitors or hi-fi speakers.

@pv88 I'll start with my usual caveat that you guys like to call me out for wink -- from what I've heard about the EP3, it seems like an instrument that suits my needs very well, but I can't seem to find a store in which I could play it and evaluate its sound and feel.
Posted by: pv88

Re: Looking to buy digital piano for $1000 or less - 10/11/12 01:11 AM

Originally Posted By: TheNovicest
@pv88 I'll start with my usual caveat that you guys like to call me out for wink -- from what I've heard about the EP3, it seems like an instrument that suits my needs very well, but I can't seem to find a store in which I could play it and evaluate its sound and feel.


@TheNovicest,

I bought my EP3 "sight unseen," and, although many here do not recommend doing that, I was very happy in getting mine. Great piano sounds (with the reverb settings), nice action, and, has decent built-in speakers.
Posted by: pianonewb

Re: Looking to buy digital piano for $1000 or less - 10/11/12 10:22 PM

Originally Posted By: gvfarns

If you want good or even acceptable speakers, you need to look at a different type of piano. I'm aware of no slab-style piano with speakers that are even ok. Well, maybe the CP300, but it's not in your budget.

I'd suggest getting the piano with the action and tone (through headphones) you like and then buying a pair of external speakers to go with it. Even a pair of computer speakers will probably sound better than the speakers on the pianos you are looking at.

Actually, basically all digital pianos have rather poor speakers in my opinion. I always audition them with good headphones. Then I use headphones when I practice. If I must have speakers, I use my own, not the piano's.

I would agree 100% with this assessment. I own a PX 120, which is at least 2 generations removed from the 150. But the sounds in that piano are pretty good. The piano sounds through the onboard speakers aren't done any justice. But run through my PA (or through a good stereo, which I have also done), and this piano really shines. with the improvements to the PX 150, it should sound even better.
By the way, if I had to don a pair of headphones everytime I played, it would get really old really fast. YMMV.